written by: KLeeBanks•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 8/19/2010
Instead of your word and a handshake, as previous generations conducted business, you should use a bill of sale form. Include names of the buyer and seller, and details about the sales transaction on a bill of sale template. For optimal assurance, “get it in writing" to protect both parties.
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You may recall hearing your parents or grandparents discussing how they conducted business with nothing more than their word and a handshake. In today’s world, however, you should use a bill of sale form to detail the transaction. You can find an appropriate bill of sale sample by searching online, locate one in your word processing program or use one of the bill of sale templates below obtained via Free Legal Documents. By clearly describing the sale item, price, and terms of the sale, you help to protect yourself from potential problems after the sale. Legal advice is to “get it in writing" and a bill of sale template for either personal or business sales fulfills that recommendation.
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Significance of a Bill of Sale
The writer of this article recalls hearing her father discussing the value of a man’s word. He would say his word was his bond and any business transaction only required his word and a handshake. Today, however, due to the legalities involved in buying and selling, most transactions require a bill of sale form. The bill of sale denotes a “transfer of ownership of goods" of numerous kinds, and must clearly define the sale item(s) and all the related terms.
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Details to Include in a Bill of Sale
Obviously, the most important component of a bill of sale is a concise description of the sale item. In addition, you will want to include the following:
Full sale price
Warranties, included accessories or “extras," and/or exclusions
Special details necessary for a customized order and sale
Names of buyer(s) and seller(s)
Signatures of buyer(s) and seller(s)
Date of transaction
You may choose to have the transaction witnessed and notarized, depending on the sale item and its value.
Give the original bill of sale to the customer or client, and retain a copy for yourself.
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Samples of Bill of Sale Forms and Templates
If you have not previously used a bill of sale form or bill of sale template, here are some examples used by the writer of this article (click on images for larger views). All examples have identifying details removed to preserve confidentiality. The first is a bill of sale sample for a personal sale of a vehicle (actually the husband’s transaction for his Mustang); the second bill of sale sample was for a business sale of a customized quilt. The third example is a variation on a bill of sale, as it was an invoice for services rendered.
Personal Vehicle Bill of Sale
Business Bill of Sale for Customized Quilt
Business Invoice for Services Rendered
If you need a specific bill of sale template, you can find an appropriate bill of sale sample in Microsoft Word by opening a new Word document, and then clicking on "New" to select your template. You can also download a bill of sale template for your personal use by visiting Free Legal Documents.
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When you conduct a business transaction involving selling an item, "get it in writing" by using a bill of sale template. Accurately describe the sale item(s), the sale price, and the agreement between buyer and seller concerning the sale. Both buyer and seller should sign and date the bill of sale. The original bill of sale should go to the buyer, while the seller retains a copy. In some cases, depending on the sale item and its value, you may want to have the bill of sale notarized.
Screenshots & Reference: Free Legal Documents. Free Bill of Sale Forms and Sales Agreements. Retrieved from http://www.free-legal-document.com/bill-of-sale.html